Highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children tend to be in red states

Posted by Daniel Burnett
May 22, 2013 1:37 PM |

Mississippi. North Dakota. Idaho. Montana. Wyoming. That other Dakota.

They’re not exactly known as bastions of gay rights, but when it comes to raising children in a same-sex household, they’re home sweet home.

A fascinating new study by the Williams Institute, a national think tank at UCLA Law, finds that the states with the highest percent of gay households with children tend to be those with a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. 

The Top 10:

  1. Mississippi — 26 percent!
  2. Wyoming
  3. Alaska
  4. Idaho
  5. Montana
  6. Kansas
  7. North Dakota
  8. Arkansas
  9. South Dakota
  10. Oklahoma

When broken down by metro areas with a population of more than 1 million:

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah — 26 percent
  2. Virginia Beach, Va. — 24 percent
  3. Detroit; Memphis, Tenn.; San Antonio — 22 percent

And when broken down by metro areas with a population of less than 1 million, the list becomes more surprising:

  1. Grand Forks, N.D. — 65 percent
  2. Bismarck, N.D. — 61 percent
  3. Hinesville, Ga. — 46 percent
  4. Laredo, Texas — 45 percent
  5. Visalia, Calif. — 44 percent 

When ranked with the states, D.C. has the lowest percentage of same-sex couples raising children. Only 8.7 percent of same-sex Washington couples are raising children, meaning the average gay couple in Mississippi is three-times more likely to be someone’s moms or dads than a gay couple here. 

"Research consistently shows that same-sex couples raise children all across the country," said Williams Institute public policy research fellow, Angeliki Kastanis. "This analysis underscores the fact that recognition of LGBT families is a consequential policy question in every state."

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